Ross Kemp in Afghanistan - Starts 21st January 21:00

GreyWing

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A write up about Ross talking openly about being in Afghanistan in his new series, looks like he did a good job

Quote:

'We respect footie stars more than our brave soldiers'

TV's Ross Kemp on horrors & heroes of Afganistan

By James Weatherup
SIX terrifying weeks battling the Taliban in Afghanistan left TV hardman Ross Kemp in humbled awe of Britain's REAL national heroes— our frontline troops.





The former EastEnders star, who played SAS tough guy Henno Garvie in Ultimate Force, came home in a FURY.

He is convinced the real-life action men, living and fighting in constant danger of death, get a SHAMEFUL raw deal.

Speaking in detail for the first time about filming a hard-hitting Sky One documentary with the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, Ross said:

"Sometimes I think we've got more respect for our national football team than we have for our soldiers. And that beggars belief.

"Those boys out there fighting are the ones worth £70,000 a week not those pampered players.

"I heard stories of great heroism. One of the snipers, Lance Corporal Teddy Ruecker, is up for a gallantry medal.

"He's only about 20, lives with his mum and dad and often gets turned away from nightclubs because he looks too young. Yet he's shot 24 or 25 enemy out there.

"He actually got caught in an ambush, rescued his unconscious mate—who'd had part of his arm blown off—from a burning vehicle and carried him on his back to safety while braving a barrage of bullets and rockets.

"During the firefight, with his free hand, he shot a Taliban fighter who was aiming a rocket-propelled grenade at him from just 10 yards. His incredible bravery was witnessed by everyone.

"Now the rest of us need to offer those guys more support. You can't fight a war on terror and not thank, respect or look after the people doing it for you. How's that ever going to work?"

Nine Royal Anglians have already paid the ultimate price since they were deployed in Afghanistan last April.

Ross's passionate crusade for our boys was forged amid the horrors of frontline action.

And the 43-year-old actor is not ashamed to admit that in one terrifying brush with death—caught in a Taliban grenade and machine-gun ambush—he actually PEED himself as bullets crashed inches from his head.

He admitted:"I don't think anything prepares you for being shot at. We were expecting some contact with the enemy and we were meant to draw them out so we could call in the heavy artillery.

"But they knew we were coming, and we knew they knew we were coming. It was like bait on a hook."

The ambush happened near Jucaylay, a terrorist stronghold in Helmand Province, in broad daylight. Ross, who had trained with the squaddies for six weeks before being deployed on active duty but did not carry a weapon.

He recalled: "What I didn't know was that the Taliban were going to open the attack on the person to my right, the person behind me and me in the middle.

"I think wearing blue didn't help because we stood out as targets in contrast with the yellow of the cornfields and probably the camera looked like a weapon.

"Also they know that if they shoot a journalist or film crew it'll make even bigger headlines.

"We were using irrigation channels in the fields as cover and were up to our ankles in water when we stepped out to go around this compound.

"All I can remember hearing was something like a large firework going off behind me. Then I felt the air being cut around my face and just kicked my legs back in a split second. I went straight down, cutting my face as I hit the ground.

"The bullets take your breath away. It's like a fizzzzz whistling past you. You hear the lead cutting the air, you don't hear the bang.

"But you know you can't get out of the way because when you hear it, it's already gone past.

"It's not like the guy in The Matrix who dodges bullets, it doesn't happen, believe me. If you're in the way it kills or maims you.

"We were being pinned on the ground by very accurate AK fire, then five to seven rocket-propelled grenades were fired just over our heads while I buried my face in the dirt.

"Luckily they hit the compound walls behind us otherwise we'd have been toast, but the rounds were getting closer and closer. I think they were aiming at the battery pack sticking up on my back because I felt the shots go to my left and then landing just to my right, smashing into the ground.

"Then one round passed between my shoulder and my head. And that's when I wet myself.

"There was nothing I could do about it all. Even if I'd been a soldier with a rifle I couldn't have fired back because my head would have been blown off the second I lifted it. We were so exposed all the guys were screaming, ‘Ross! Keep your f*text deleted**ing head down!'

"And I started praying, ‘Please not me! Please not me!'

"We lay there not moving for about seven to ten minutes but it felt like an hour. Scary is an understatement. I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. It was the most frightening experience of my life, the closest I've ever come to dying.

"It took the guys three or four minutes before they started firing back because they had to get to safety first. Those moments will stay with me for the rest of my life."

Ross was reliving his horror in the surreal surroundings of south London's New Wimbledon Theatre where he is starring in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.

He confessed: "When I got home I went to the pub for 24 hours and had a good long drink. Delayed shock, I guess. How all those brave guys readjust I don't know."

Ross's five-part Sky series gives a chilling insight into what really happens in a war zone. And the heartbreaking aftermath.

Just days before the ambush Ross had been travelling in the convoy in which Corporal Darren Bonner, 31, was killed when his Viking armoured vehicle hit a landmine.

With tears welling, he recalled how talking to Darren's grieving parents back home was one of the most moving things he has ever done. "It was so sad," said Ross. "At least I could say I was there. We were ahead of his section and must have driven right by that mine. Looking into the eyes of a young mother who's lost an 18-year-old, or being hugged by the father of another dead soldier was overwhelming.

"My heart goes out to all of them. I'm not ashamed to say I bawled my eyes out.

"Britain's 18-25s are branded the hoodie-wearing, Nintendo-playing, uncaring generation, but I can't tell you how proud I am of those boys out there. They're brave, dedicated and not respected or paid enough for what they do.

"They're on a basic of about £15,600 but that should be at least £18,000. I mean, nurses and policemen get far more than they do."

For the record, a trained bobby on the beat gets £24,000.

Ross also demanded top brass improve compensation, barracks conditions and supply more helicopters to the region. And he called on big business to give our heroes perks like cut-price restaurant deals as they do in America.

"It looks as though we're planning on being in Afghanistan for many years to come," he said. "We HAVE to look after those boys."
# Ross Kemp In Afghanistan is exclusive to Sky One and Sky One HD. Starts Monday 21 January, 9pm.
 

South

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Thats getting recorded on HD1! Sounds like it will be good. :)
 

will

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Mackie said:
Sounds great, shame I don't have sky :(
ye mate me too, i will have a look on the internet for any sites which might be showing it mate and i will post a link. cheers for posting tht gw.
 

jim87spencer

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Ross kemp is a legend with massive bollocks, definatly need to watch this, Im sure most people piss their pants when being shot at for the first time.. im looking forward to it.
 

Jas

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Someone record this in HD and upload it to stage6. PLEASE. This sounds like a really good program and I'd hate to miss it.
 

GreyWing

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jim87spencer said:
Ross kemp is a legend with massive bollocks, definatly need to watch this, Im sure most people piss their pants when being shot at for the first time.. im looking forward to it.
yep no one knows the way they will react when things so to that extreme, so that isn't anything to be ashamed of. Good on him for admitting it and showing what the guys are doing out there. The guy has also come back pretty furious about the wages soldiers are on, and with people like him pushing things, Maybe things will improve.

Well done that man
 

NicholasSkamballis

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yeah hopefully there will be some action taken to improve the lives of our soldeirs. Like Ross Kemp highlighted we idolise footballers and other celebrities, and as the Lt Col in the Paras stated, the starting wage of a policeman is something like £22,000 whereas an infantryman is on £15,000, soldiers come as young as 16 years old and get deployed in the hottest warzones laying their lives on the line and some when they get back off tours they find no home to get to!

I was walking throught the town and i saw a guy probs in his 40's and spoke to him, he was ex RAF reg and he was selling the big issue. It shows how much the government respects those willing to lay their lives on the line for what they believe is a just cause.
 

edd91

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NicholasSkamballis said:
yeah hopefully there will be some action taken to improve the lives of our soldeirs. Like Ross Kemp highlighted we idolise footballers and other celebrities, and as the Lt Col in the Paras stated, the starting wage of a policeman is something like £22,000 whereas an infantryman is on £15,000, soldiers come as young as 16 years old and get deployed in the hottest warzones laying their lives on the line and some when they get back off tours they find no home to get to!

I was walking throught the town and i saw a guy probs in his 40's and spoke to him, he was ex RAF reg and he was selling the big issue. It shows how much the government respects those willing to lay their lives on the line for what they believe is a just cause.
I might be wrong but i think you have to be 18 before you get sent to a warzone, think not sure somebody will probably correct me if am wrong, but yea well done for him going out there, not many people would just to prove to other people what the forces on the front line go through and what they get for it, he really put down his life to try and show this point to people in his series.
 

Roddie

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It is 18 before you get deployed.
But still 16 years olds can be rifleman/crewman.
I think the most respectable soldiers, are veterans, and the youngest out in the warzones. It takes balls to be under fire in Iraq at the age of 18.
 

LukeJillings

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well i am 16 and *text deleted* been asked if i could go in a war zone and am sure the with parents permission i can
 
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